That thought ran through my head quite a bit today when I queried myself as to why I had signed up to do a half-iron distance race so early in the season. In reality, though, I didn't directly sign up to do the race; rather, N--- transferred her registration over to me when it became clear that spreading her time between the three sports, work, and school wasn't working too well. Judging by today's results, I didn't do such a stellar job, either...and I didn't have school to think about. I am a slacker.
Over all, though, my participation in the Playtri Triathlon Festival was a success. My goal was to survive (er...finish), using the race as a baseline for how much work was to be done between now and Tri 101 in November. Needless to say, I have much to do. Read on to find out why.
Swim - 37:12 (88th OA)
Omigosh, was the water ever cold. From the previous days' events, there were several people who DNF-d (did not finish), due, according to rumor, to the frigid temperature of the water. But, I had my trusty wetsuit and I managed to stay warm enough to somehow negotiate 1800 meters of choppy water in Lake Carolyn, navigating a series of barely-perceptible buoys, trying to make around the assorted bends and back to shore.
Bike - 2:48:41 (26th OA)
Omigosh, was it ever windy. Despite the fact that the course was essentially pancake flat, and on relatively well-paved roads, this was the toughest bike leg of a race I've done. Strong winds from literally every direction caused me to fight to keep the bike upright and going in a straight line. Psychologically, doing three loops of the same, blisteringly windy course took its toll on me by the mid-way point of lap two. Physically, my left leg began bothering me again on the second lap, but I was able to work through it with greater success than the same problem experienced at Gulfman last year. I'm thinking that a pedal change might be in order...Speedplay is seeming to be the most viable option, given the amount of available float.
But, speaking of equipment changes, I've decided that for long-course races, the Louis Garneau Chrono (or, the first generation of said helmet) is not the best of choices. Were it not for the consequence of instant disqualification, I'd have ripped the thing from my head by mile 30; it was that bad.
I tried something new coming into T2: dismounting with the shoes still clipped in. But for the problem of getting my left foot free of the shoe before the dismount line, and some crazy dismounting from a guy on my left, it was, for the most part, a success. I think with a bit more practice, I'll have it down.
Run - 1:54:05 (43rd OA)
Omigosh, was I ever tired by the time I hit the run. I'd my own little group of groupies at the race today (N--- was there the whole time, wonderful woman that she is -- she even gave me pirate socks as a good luck gift! what a gal, while D--- & K--- made it by for the run and the post-race pigout festival at Snuffer's), and they all commented on how good/comfortable I looked on the run. Based on how I actually felt, though, nothing could have been farther from the truth.
Because I had to fight the bike so much on the bike leg (as opposed to fighting the bike on the swim?), my shoulders were extremely tight. My cardio also felt way off, so I just ran with it, doing the best that I could. It was an interesting course (part of it went past an out-of-sight shooting range, so all were treated to the comforting, incessant sounds of gunfire; one runner remarked that it reminded him of being in Iraq), much of which was on concrete trailing, making for a hard-on-the-body run. It took every ounce of being I had to keep from abandoning after the first loop, but I made it through.
Summing It All Up
Swim - 37:12 (88)
T1 - 3:24
Bike - 2:48:41 (26)
T2 - 1:57
Run - 1:54:05 (43)
Total - 5:25:21
Placings - 34th OA / 8th AG
It was most likely due to my lack of preparation, but this was probably the toughest race I've ever done -- tougher even than Buffalo Springs. However, it was a good learning experience for me. A few examples:
- Don't use the Chrono helmet on long-course races
- In strong winds, it's best to use a less-deep front wheel (but I'd still like to use the 404s for Tri 101 in November, M--- & B---)
- One bottle is not really enough
- Nuun hydration tablets rock...but use only half of one per bottle
- Time pedals + me + long-course triathlon = possible need for new pedal system (not a word, M---)
- I have the most awesome, supportive group of friends anyone could ever ask for; thank you, all
For most of the day, it's been difficult to move. As a precautionary measure, I called in sick to work, and N--- made an appointment for me to get a massage before we head back home. But first, I need sleep. Disintegration is cued up on the iPod, so I will now bid you all a good evening and head off to slumber. As always, thanks for reading.//d